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Accountability Keeps the Focus on Today

Let’s say the financial goal of a professional services firm, such as a CPA firm or a law firm, is to bring in $1 million in new business. So the managing partner calls in those responsible for business development and says, “Okay, go get that $1 million!”

Occasionally, the managing partner gets everyone together to ask, “Has the $1 million come in yet? No? Why not?”

What’s wrong with this picture? A few things. While the financial target is the ultimate goal, what’s missing are the specific activities that are going to make that goal happen.

And while it’s commendable that the managing partner is checking in occasionally to measure people’s progress, it’s really not helpful to use the $1 million as the measuring stick for success. Even if people are bringing in some business at this point, it may be discouraging to realize how far they are from the ultimate goal.

Instead of this disheartening scenario, in the Get More Clients NOW and Forever™ program we help you implement a five-step accountability process for business development called G.A.M.M.A.™:

G – Goal
A – Activities
M – Metrics
M – Monitor
A – Accountability

G – Goal

It’s crucial to start with a concrete goal, and it’s just as important that setting this goal is a collaborative process between the manager and the person who is responsible for developing the new business.

Before you go any further, be sure that the goal is clearly defined and understood by both parties. Have each person recap what they’ve heard.

A – Activities

As part of that conversation, the two must also develop a list of the activities the person will do to accomplish the goal. If the activities aren’t there, whether that’s networking, making phone calls, following up or doing proposals, the million dollars won’t be there.

A financial goal of $1 million is future-oriented, and ultimately you have no control over whether your prospective clients will sign a deal and pay you the money. Your activities, on the other hand, are TODAY-oriented, and you absolutely have control over whether or not you complete them.

Focusing on the dollars can make you crazy. Focusing on the activities takes a great deal of pressure away from the person developing the business. Instead of looking at the $1 million, you’re looking at your next activity.

This approach also takes pressure away from the manager, and makes it much easier to develop each person on the team, and choose the activities that fit their strengths.

M – Metrics

Next, the manager and team member work together to attach numbers to the activities. For example, a person in the firm who is responsible for business development may need to make 50 “touches” (calls, emails, text messages, etc.) per month. Another person, whose strength is networking, may have the goal to attend two networking events, meet 10 new people at each event, and make 25 follow up calls, emails or text messages to both old and new contacts.

M – Monitor

Now you can monitor each person’s progress and begin to develop ratios to predict your overall success. Let’s say from 50 touches, you average 20 direct responses. From those 20 responses, you gave five presentations and had two opportunities to deliver proposals. One of those two proposals resulted in a signed deal with a new client. Now you know that it takes 50 touches to get one new client.

Of course there will be times when you get lucky and close a deal on your fifth touch. But trust me, the law of averages will always play out in the long run, and it will take 45 more touches to get your next deal.

Hold regularly scheduled accountability meetings with each person on your team. “So, Sally, how are you doing with your goal of 50 touches this month?” If she’s made her calls, emails and texts, great! If not, that’s an opportunity to discuss what might have gotten in her way.

A – Accountability

Sometimes, a managing partner will hear, “Well, I had trouble finishing the calls because you gave me that huge proposal to write on Thursday.” Other times, you might hear reasons that sound more like excuses – and it’s your job to cut through those excuses and find out what’s really going on, especially if they keep coming up week after week.

Too many business development initiatives are derailed because they weren’t on the track to begin with. Either there was no goal, or there was a goal but no activities, or those activities weren’t being monitored, or people weren’t being held accountable.

The G.A.M.M.A.™ process takes the pressure off the ultimate financial goal, and yet still keeps everyone on top of what’s going on. You’ll know pretty quickly if your train is on schedule or falling behind. And if that’s the case, you can adjust your activities and metrics accordingly. What a relief!

G.A.M.M.A.™ is just one small part of the Get More Clients NOW and Forever™ program. Click here to find out more about this remarkable sales, marketing and accountability program.